In Politicker's continuing coverage of the wave of federal arrests of politicians and political party officials, Liz makes the case that real campaign finance reform is necessary to truly clean up New York politics.
Although Mr. Smith’s electoral plans could have simply been a fantasy in his own mind, some officials and good-government groups claim that the key takeaway from the allegations is the need to reform New York State’s campaign finance system. Current Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated over $3 million to various state and county GOP organizations over the past decade, even after he left the Republican Party to run as an independent in 2009. He received their Wilson Pakula blessing in order to do so. And Mr. Catsimatidis, who used to employ Mr. Tabone in both his campaign and his company, has been plowing plenty of his own dollars into the various county parties himself.
“Our wild-west campaign finance laws have nurtured a culture of corruption in this state,” Democratic Senator Liz Krueger told Politicker in a statement. “It has become accepted wisdom to too many people in New York politics that enough four- or five-figure checks, distributed to enough elected officials, can change anything and fix anything. At the same time, incumbents raise enormous amounts of money — the lion’s share of their money — from the established interests that are lobbying them.”
Reflecting on the multitude of political scandals that have rocked New York City in Albany in recent years, Ms. Krueger added, “The result is an environment where bribery schemes don’t seem outlandish and wrong — they seem pretty normal.”
Read more at Politicker.